Accreted Terrane

Museum of Northwest Art, La Connor, WA

Exhibition Date: 
October 4, 2014 to January 4, 2015
David Francis

A large group exhibition featuring work by 42 artists with ties to the Northwest region, Accreted Terrane explores processes of accumulation and erosion, dispersal and gathering. The passage of time is marked in a dazzling variety of ways, from layer upon layer of paint, to the archaeological exposure of 20th century artifacts, to the capture of hot-sculpted glass in the moment, to the interplay of light and shadow unfolding in a video loop. With a number of large scale installations, the exhibition also contains a series of environments that encourage extended contemplation. With about 17% of the show, glass is particularly well represented.

Often referencing scientific research as well as a natural world in the midst of profound change, Accreted Terrane collectively demonstrates the ongoing strengths of contemporary art in the Northwest in terms of innovation in materials, new perspectives on nature, and a sustained engagement with conceptual content. While the exhibition’s title, borrowed from a geological lexicon, is interpreted differently by each artist, the cumulative effect “evokes a world from which human beings are notably absent or indirectly present, perhaps even estranged,” as guest curator David Francis suggests.